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Record quarter for electric vehicles in UK’s used car market

Figures have shown that buyers are keener than ever to purchase pre-owned zero-emission cars.

The data was published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders

The data was published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders

It was a record first quarter for the sale of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in the UK's used car market, according to figures released earlier this month.

The data, published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), showed that transactions for BEVs more than doubled from 6,625 to 14,586, a rise of 120.2%, during the first three months of the year.

While buyers are keen to purchase pre-owned, zero-emission cars, plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and hybrids (HEVs) also changed hands in greater numbers than the year before, rising by 35.3% to 14,433, and 28.8% to 35,007 units, respectively.

Despite the growth, petrol and diesel powertrains continued to dominate the used market, representing 96.2% of used sales, or some 1,707,135 units. Plug-in vehicles comprised 3.6% of the total market share – up from 1.6% in Q1 2021.

Despite the global shortage of semiconductors stifling supply in the new car market, used car sales in the quarter were driven by a buoyant market in January and February, with rises of 17.7% and 7.4% respectively. March, on the other hand, saw a decline of 6.8%, following a stronger performing month in 2021 as the pandemic-affected market began to recover.

Thinking of making the switch to electric?

The Arnold Clark Innovation Centre, meanwhile, opened last year on Dumbarton Road in Glasgow’s West End with the aim of educating visitors about the benefits of alternative fuel vehicles and why they are becoming so important.

There are more than 60 vehicles on site available to test-drive, from plug-in and self-charging hybrids to fully electric vehicles.


There are no sales at the site, which is specifically an innovation, information, and educational centre.

You can also learn about the different types of charging and generous government tax and grants available if you're thinking of moving to electric.

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